To save and augment the CIS potential

Dec 06. Kazpravda. Ashgabat

By Vladimir Kuryatov

To save and augment the CIS potentialYesterday President Nursultan Nazarbayev shared in the meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State in Ashgabat.

Turkmenistan had long been associated in our mind with the well-known movie “White Sun of the Desert”, the Kara Kum Desert and beautiful Akhal-Teke horses. Although the sands are still there, and the white sun is mercilessly scorching even in December, the country can no longer be judged by the old films. Ashgabat now is a modern city that throws an unprepared tourist in a culture shock. Buildings of white marble, fountains and gardens, amiable people – that’s what the Turkmen capital is.

And many people have discovered a new Turkmenistan to themselves in the year of the country’s presidency in the CIS, as over this time its capital Ashgabat had seen multiple events: meetings of the Council of CIS Heads of Government, of Economic Council, the forums on energy, transport and on other vital areas.

And now the CIS summit, held at the Ruhiyet Palace, in which the CIS Heads of State mulled about 20 topics, and as it is usually the case- bilateral talks in the forum sidelines. Nursultan Nazarbayev had talks with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on development of cooperation in trade, transport and communication sectors, culture-humanitarian area, progress of the earlier reached agreements.

The summit itself, chaired by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, mooted a wide scope of multilateral cooperation issues.

Addressing it, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that economic development and common security issues are getting increasingly intertwined. Therefore, the economic aspect was predominant at the summit.

It was resolved there to make 2013 the Year of ecological culture and environmental protection in the CIS.

This topic is of particular relevance to Kazakhstan, actively championing the green economy, for which the Green Bridge initiative and the Global Energy Strategy were developed and subsequently entered on the “Rio + 20″ final document. It is also attuned to the theme of EXPO-2017 -” Future Energy” proposed by Kazakhstan for this international exhibition. A CIS Interstate Environmental Council will be established to coordinate the ecology and environmental protection area.

The summit adopted a Declaration of the further development of multilateral cooperation. The CIS, it was said, is a common will, shared history, and shared future, given which it is essential that all countries take an active part in the development of the structure. And not just the economy and bare pragmatism should be the basis of this interaction, but in the first place – the common goals, common ground in all directions.

Celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 will be common in CIS, for which the necessary arrangements and Action Plan are to be made, honorary award and a commemorative medal dedicated to 70th anniversary of the Victory will be established. This victory, it was re-emphasized, is what binds our nations together historically.

Among other common projects is the priority actions Plan in humanitarian cooperation in 2013-2014 that contains 225 events in various fields and that will be signed by the heads of government before the year-end.

The interstate program “Cultural Capital of the CIS,” believed to be of big rallying force, will continue. This year, the cultural capitals were Astana and Turkmenistan’s Mary. On top of it, art and science forums, competitions, festivals, educational and concert tours will take place.

Results of 2012- the Year of communication and information were tallied up.

Within the CIS other partnerships and various “special-interest clubs” are built. For example, the five states are cooperating in the EurAsEC; Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus formed the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, and integration is going on inside the CIS itself. The assertions that the CIS is just a “divorce office” for the former Soviet republics are erroneous and, given the global financial turmoil, this process is a vital necessity. Within the structure, effective tools have been developed to address the negative impact, like for example the Anti-Crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community available to other CIS members. It is also creation of an integrated currency market of the CIS members, brought up in Ashgabat this time, on which a relevant agreement was signed. The document lays the foundation for equal admission of banks to the national currency markets of the member-states, interbank currency exchange transactions.

Experts note that the instability of the two main world currencies necessitates alternative tools for the trade.

Agreements were also signed on establishing the Council of CIS financial intelligence units’(FIU) leaders on cooperation in combating terrorism and other violent extremism forms and in training anti-terrorist units.

In 2013 Belarus will preside in CIS, and the next summit will be held in October next year.